I have been speaking to various people about my debut novel Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). Being paranormal romance, it was more than likely going to fall into the category of Young Adult for audience appeal, but that was not my original intention. Indeed, the story content is very adult and I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 18. I had intended the book for an adult market aged roughly between 18-35, although of course I would not begrudge anyone reading it.
I was greatly surprised to find that several older people have read and thoroughly enjoyed my book. Here is a classic example of my cultural and social conditioning rearing its face. I automatically assumed that any people over the age of 50 that read my book would think it far-fetched and probably ridiculous. This was not the case according to some recent word of mouth reviews I have received.
Two people in particular stand out. The first is my paternal grandfather. I have never known him to read a book that didn’t include photographs of classic cars and engines. He reads newspapers but that’s about it, and my grandmother agreed that she too had never seen him read a novel before. But he read mine, I thought just because I was his granddaughter. Actually he told me that it was really interesting, very descriptive, and he thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that he read it within about two days!
The second surprise positive review came from the grandmother of my brother’s girlfriend. This was a review from someone who doesn’t know me, and I was really happy to be told that this lady thought my novel was really exciting. Apparently she enjoyed it, and is keen to see the sequel when I finally complete it.
After these, and several other positive word of mouth reviews, I am filled with renewed vigour for my writing. Now I have established that there is actually a whole new older audience, I cannot wait for them to read some more of my work. And my lesson for the week is to never underestimate what people are prepared to read.